Top ab exercises: The Plank and Abdominal Hold

FitnessMagazine.com staff squatted, thrusted and crunched their way to figuring out the best abdominal-toning exercises. Here are a few:

Abdominal hold

Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair (or step with four risers) and place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.

Tighten your abs and bring your toes 2 to 4 inches off the floor. Lift your butt off the chair.

Hold this position for as long as you can — aim for 5 to 10 seconds.

Lower yourself down and repeat.

Continue this exercise for 1 minute.

The Hundred

Sit tall on the mat with your knees bent by your chest and your hands at your sides.

Lie down with your knees bent and your palms facing down.

Exhale and raise your head and shoulders off the mat.

Vigorously pump your arms 6 inches up and down, reaching with your fingertips.

Inhale for 5 pumps, then exhale for 5 pumps. Be sure to curl your chin in toward your chest.

Do 100 pumps, or 10 full breaths.

Try to keep your lower back pressed in toward the floor and keep your lower abs pulled in toward your spine. You should keep your abs engaged this way throughout the workout.

The Prone Plank

Get into a full pushup position with your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders.

Hold here for 30 seconds, with your abs contracted and your arms and legs extended and your head aligned with your spine.

As you build strength, hold this position longer, up to one minute.

Go deeper: Try the one-arm stable switching plank.

Learn about more exercises and watch example videos.

Article source: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/feb/10/top-ab-exercises-abdominal-hold-and-plank/?partner=RSS

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